Mari Manzano

Hello. My name is Mari and I was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer on August 6, 2014. I feel like I am in a dream state - with everything happening so fast. I was so happy at my new job that I started in April, 2014 and just like that I am taken off of work and was diagnosed with aggressive breast cancer. Since then, I have met the Oncologist, I now have a port-Cath in my chest, given an MRI, CT, Echo Cardiogram, blood work and bone scan, met with the surgeon and I meet with the Radiologist on Tuesday. The plan so far is Chemo, Surgery and then Radiation. I start Chemo August 20, 2014 - for 4x in an 8 week period then for 12 weeks straight. I am currently being tested for the Cancer gene - and that worries me cause if positive that could really effect my daughter Mylah not to mention my siblings and extended family could be at risk for this cancer gene as well. I have been up and down within these 2 weeks - the unknown is just the scariest thing. SincIf you have a family history of breast cancer, you are likely to develop breast cancer, too.


While women who have a family history of breast cancer are in a higher risk group, most women who have breast cancer have no family history. Statistically only about 10% of individuals diagnosed with breast cancer have a family history of this disease.

If you have a first degree relative with breast cancer: If you have a mother, daughter, or sister who developed breast cancer below the age of 50, you should consider some form of regular diagnostic breast imaging starting 10 years before the age of your relative’s diagnosis.

If you have a second degree relative with breast cancer: If you have had a grandmother or aunt who was diagnosed with breast cancer, your risk increases slightly, but it is not in the same risk category as those who have a first degree relative with breast cancer.

If you have multiple generations diagnosed with breast cancer on the same side of the family, or if there are several individuals who are first degree relatives to one another, or several family members diagnosed under age 50, the probability increases that there is a breast cancer gene contributing to the cause of this familial history. Sinoe and I told our 2 boys what is happening and they are handling well. My 9yr daughter is the tough one to tell but we are telling her that I am sick and I will need treatment. We are being delicate with her. But with the chemo upon us we will need to sit her down and tell her more. The hardest part for me during this time was telling my loved ones - it hurts me to see others hurt. It brings tears to my eyes to see my mom and dad hurt and my husband cry thinking he will lose his wife..Telling this information was so hard!

August 20 - I had my first chemo treatment...For the days after it I was met with nausea, no appetite, weakness, fatigue and severe stomach pains. But I had my friends and family around me tending to my needs and giving me the support I need to be strong and carry on..I think by Wed of this week I actually starting feeling myself again - thank god!! What a wonderful feeling to feel good and know that ok - I can do this!! I sure have taken my life for granted - not appreciating how truly lucky I was --- this will definitely be a life lesson for me. Wed I had an MRI on both breast - great news! The mass is not as big as they thought and no spreading!! So I asked so will this change my treatment time--.Nope!! Darn no such luck..Ok so I will carry on. I have chemo next Wed and start this routine again for 6 more weeks of every other Wed and then 12 weeks every week..I am being told my hair will most likely fall out during this next treatment. This is a tough one for me and family - to see myself like this for my family to see my like this. I just cant imagine how hard it will be.. My sister Gloria had been bugging me about getting a wig - I'm like nope!! I just cant see myself wearing one- so this girl kid-naps me and takes me to a wig shop.. I am sitting there like a 5yr - arms crossed mad face.. I tried one but it just was not me. It was funny and I did laugh. But I am so afraid of losing myself - I know its just hair -but it will just be so real --what I am facing.. And I worry about the kids - how will they feel to see their mother like that. There are scarfs and hats and things like that -- but boy will reality set it. But to my surprise my insurance is covering a wig - and I think for a nice one -- so I have an appt next Tues to see about a wig - hee hee -- will see how it goes and how I feel ....

It is now Sept 29th and will be having my 4th chemo treatment. My head is shaved and I am trying to be strong as I prepare for this week.

Joan - I want to thank you you for sharing your story as I am going thru exactly what you are.. To hear some else has the triple negative just makes me feel like I am not the only one going thru this. This is so scary what we are going thru and - the unknown of how this will end - just scares the heck out out me.. Will I be here for my 3 kids for my husband -- will I be hear to take care of my elderly parents -who are now back taking care of me again. This was supposed to be my turn to take care of them.. So heartbreaken to see them so worried about me.

But I will try to be a warrior like you... Thank you Joan - my story will continue as I go thru all these phases of this cancer thing.. Thank you for sharing Joan!!

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